Recent advances of plasmonic nanoparticle-based optical analysis in homogeneous solution and at the single-nanoparticle level
Plasmonic nanoparticles with special localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) characters have been widely applied for optical sensing of various targets. With the combination of single nanoparticle imaging techniques, dynamic information of reactions and biological processes is obtained, facilitating the deep understanding of their principle and design of outstanding nanomaterials. In this review, we summarize the recently adopted optical analysis of diverse analytes based on plasmonic nanoparticles both in homogeneous solution and at the single-nanoparticle level. A brief introduction of LSPR is first discussed. Colorimetric and fluorimetric homogeneous detection examples by using different sensing mechanisms and strategies are provided. Single plasmonic nanoparticle-based analysis is concluded in two aspects: visualization of chemical reactions and understanding of biological processes. The basic sensing mechanisms and performances of these systems are introduced. Finally, this review highlights the challenges and future trend of plasmonic nanoparticle-based optical analysis systems.